Escaping winter to the North June 2011

I was able to head to North QLD the other month from cold wet weather to sunny QLD. I missed most of that rain that hammered Sydney during the week and arrived in sunny 25 degree Celsius.



The wet season had truly been left behind and any reminisence of the floods. The only damage I saw was between Cairns and Townsville where homes and parklands were awating to be rebuilt. Below is a picture of a town i stopped at between Cairns and Townsville.







In saying this if you are planning a holiday for the area go for it there are some great deals around and the major toursit areas were not affected at all.



Most courses up that way have had about 3 metres of rain (yes they measure in metres there) and were looking very nice indeed. Most greens in the Cairns are have been converted to Novotek (hybrid couch which is used across Asia as well) from Tiff 328. There is some Tiff Eagle about as well. The Novotek is by far the superior greens grass for the tropical climate. On courses which has a mixture of both Novotek and 328 the Novotek greens had full cover and running very well. The 328 I saw was still recovering From the wet season. Overall the advantage of the Novotek is that it can withstand high rainfall and low light (typical during the wet season) whereas the 328 is not as adaptable hence why Novotek is becoming the standard choice. Tiff Eagle which was on one course held up better than 328 as well. Below is a Novotek green






I also saw a different variety called Mountain Couch. A very course grass and little disease gets in it. On the negative side it is very slow surface May be good for tees though.


One mention I did see a new patch disease that has not been identified yet. All testing so far cannot isolate any names for it. DNA testing is the next step but this needs funds. The patch is quite small and symptoms are seen from May- September with no known control yet. Various fungicides h e been trialled but little effectiveness. I feel even when it is identified control will be an integrated approach that may need to start early prevention measures. Here is a picture below of the disease.








I then headed to Townsville which keeps growing every time I go there with new residential areas popping up. Rainfall in this region is just as high as Cairns but a bit cooler in the winter months. Courses were in great condition with full cover and colour a little different from dreier winters in the past. They were experiencing a cold snap at the time with nights falling to about 10C where average is more 12-15C.


Until next time